Being a student is tough. We spend multiple months where our only focus is school, homework and sleep. It is hard to find moments of fun and adventure with a student schedule. Luckily student life usually comes with small chunks of time off.
The second year Radiation Therapy students finished their winter semester at the end of April and were given one week to relax before starting a 3 month clinical rotation. I spent my week in Europe.
When I became a student, for the second time, I made a plan. This plan was designed to make it possible for me to travel and be a student all on a student budget.
I understand that this sounds a little crazy and it can’t be applied to everyone but here is what I did to successfully travel to Australia, Europe and South America during my time at BCIT.
- First of all, I took out a student loan with StudentAid BC. This money made it possible for me to pay rent, eat and pay tuition.
- Next I got a part-time student job at BCIT. There are lots of employment opportunities at BCIT for students. BCIT Recreation Services hires students and is very flexible, the Weight Room also hires students. In addition the BCIT Marketing and Communications team hires students to do things like write blog posts and do social media takeovers. There are tons of other opportunities for students to get flexible jobs on campus and make a bit of money without taking away from their school work.
- Finally I set some rules. These rules encompassed a spending limit for each month, which I tracked. Basically I calculated the amount of money I needed for my trips, subtracted it from what I had and divided that but the number of months that money was meant to last.
- I was VERY diligent about my spending and put all of the money I made working towards my trips.
- At the end of it all, I realize I haven’t saved any money at all and will have to pay back a little bit more after I graduate but I prioritized the travel and would easily choose to do that again!
I believe that being young and in school is the perfect excuse to get out there and experience different parts of the world. It helps you grow as a person, learn about about other cultures and find an appreciation for your own hometown. I believe that being stuck on a student income shouldn’t stop you from adventuring when you have the time!